Audi A8 4.2 V8 TDI.

Audi's flagship A8 limo has now become a range in South Africa as the 4.2-litre petrol V8 has been joined by a diesel model.

This new version's potential claim to fame, among board members and government officials trying to appear 'green', is that it's the only V8 diesel in its segment.

Appearing to be a decent compromise between performance and emissions, the A8 4.2 TDI is good for 258kW at 4000rpm and a heady 800Nm of torque available between 1750 and 2750rpm - which Audi claims will get the aluminium-bodied brute from 0-100km/h in just 6.2 seconds.

Yet despite its briskness and size, the CO2 emissions figure is a not-too-bad 199 g/km from combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.6 litres per 100km. Audi also claims an urban consumption figure of 10.2 l/100km and a highway figure of 6.1.

This latest version of Audi's twin-turbo V8 diesel sends its power to all four wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. This model also counts Audi's sports differential torque vectoring system among its standard equipment.

The long list of standard creature comforts matches that of the petrol model, including Audi's 3G MMI interface with touchpad and navigation, 22-way electrically adjustable front seats with cooling and heating as well as Xenon plus headlamps, Audi dynamic steering and 19-inch alloy wheels to name the highlights.

On sale immediately, the V8 TDI is yours for R1 121 500, including a five-year/100 000km full maintenance plan.

However, you might be tempted to pay extra for features like Adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function and Audi Pre Sense front (R22 500), Lane Assist (R16 700) and fancy electric and ventilated rear seats (R36 600) among many other optional extras. And if the V8 engines are still too large for your liking, the South African A8 range will be expanded further during the course of this year, with a pair of V6 models - the 213kW/420Nm 3.0T FSI petrol, at R918 000, and 184kW/550Nm 3.0 TDI oil burner at R924 500.